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    While Yankees pull off a blockbuster, Boston’s baseball winter is boring

    Giancarlo Stanton hit 59 home runs in 2017.
    Lynne Sladky/Associated Press/File
    Giancarlo Stanton hit 59 home runs in 2017.

    Picked-up pieces while sitting next to an ice cold stove in what is supposed to be the hot stove season . . .

     Giancarlo Stanton is about to become a Yankee. This is big, people. The Yankees now have two guys who combined for 111 homers last season. It’s back to Mantle-Maris, circa 1961. The addition of Stanton gives the Bronx Bombers a lineup that includes Stanton, Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, Didi Gregorius, Brett Gardner, Greg Bird, and Aaron Hicks. The Sox will need more than electronic devices to beat that team. Stanton’s popups to right will be homers in Yankee Stadium. With Derek Jeter helping his old team, the deal is already being compared to Kevin McHale sending Kevin Garnett to the Celtics. Meanwhile, could the Boston baseball winter be any more boring? With the Patriots headed to Minneapolis for the Super Bowl and the Celtics off to a near-historic start, the local baseball team does nothing day after day. And it’s trouble that both Shohei Ohtani and Stanton put Boston on the no-fly list. Guess not everybody wants to play here anymore.

     We’ll learn Sunday at 6 p.m. if Luis Tiant has been elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Tiant never got the required 75 percent of the writers’ ballots but is under consideration in the “Modern Baseball Era Election” this weekend at the baseball meetings in Florida. Tiant needs at least 12 of 16 votes from a panel that includes Dennis Eckersley, George Brett, Rod Carew, Robin Yount, and other longtime baseball executives and media members. Tiant is one of 10 candidates and I’m not optimistic about his chances because the process makes it too difficult. Other folks under consideration include Tommy John, Jack Morris, Alan Trammell, Steve Garvey, and Marvin Miller, the former executive director of the players’ association. Voters are allowed to vote for only four candidates. Tiant has been under consideration in the past and has not received enough love from the committee. The vote here is yes. Now and forever. El Tiante is a Hall of Famer.

    Luis Tiant had a record of 229-172 over a 19-year career, including 122-81 with the Red Sox from 1971-78.
    Frank O’Brien/Globe staff/File 1976
    Luis Tiant had a record of 229-172 over a 19-year career, including 122-81 with the Red Sox from 1971-78.


     Bob Kraft and the Patriots sure showed Roger Goodell who’s boss after that unfair penalty for Deflategate. Amos Alonzo tried to make Patriots fans feel good with hollow threats and demands for apologies from Goodell, but all along he’s been a commish lap dog. The sum game of Kraft’s pretend anger toward the commish was to give Goodell a wet kiss and deliver a five-year, $200 million new contract to the Ginger Hammer. Way to go, Bob. That’ll teach Goodell to mess with New England.

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     The trailer for “I, Tonya,’’ (Tonya Harding biopic) is fascinating and early reviews are good. Harding seems to like the film. She appeared with star Margot Robbie (who plays Harding in the flick) at the Los Angeles premiere and received a standing ovation when introduced. Wonder how Nancy Kerrigan — the victim of Harding’s goons — feels about Harding’s story going to the big screen?

     Everybody knows that Aaron Boone hit the home run for the ages off Tim Wakefield to send the Yankees to the World Series at the expense of the Red Sox in the Grady Little game in 2003. That’s only the beginning of the Boone-Sox connections. Aaron Boone’s grandfather, Ray Boone, finished his 13-year career with the Red Sox and served as a Sox scout for 44 years. Ray Boone was traded for Tito (the elder) Francona in 1958. Ray Boone signed Yavapai Junior College righthander Curt Schilling after Schilling was a second-round pick in 1986. “[Schilling] was 6-5 and only about 185 pounds,’’ Ray Boone recalled 18 years later. “He threw in the high 80s back then. I figured he’d throw harder when he put on some weight, but I never thought he’d be throwing in the high 90s like he did.’’ Ray Boone died on Oct. 17, 2004, the day Dave Roberts stole second base, triggering the Red Sox’ comeback from a 3-0 deficit in the ALCS.

     Aaron Boone’s hiring reminds us of the newfound stability in the Yankees’ dugout. George Steinbrenner played musical chairs with the seat in the early years of his ownership, but between 1992-2017, the Yankees had only three managers — Buck Showalter, Joe Torre, and Joe Girardi. Only the Twins (Tom Kelly, Ron Gardenhire, Paul Molitor) matched that level of stability. Boone has a three-year, $4 million contract, which makes him easy to fire if the Yankees are impatient. Girardi was scheduled to make more than $4 million in 2018.

    Quiz: Who is the only Celtic who played with both Bill Russell and Larry Bird? (answer below).


     The AFC has only two good teams and it’s hard to believe the Patriots will be tested any time in January. Most likely to challenge New England is probably the not-so-talented Ravens, because they have two things no one else has: a coach (John Harbaugh) and quarterback (Joe Flacco) who don’t lose their minds at the sight of Bill Belichick and Tom Brady.

    Ravens coach John Harbaugh and quarterback Joe Flacco have big-game experience against the Patriots.
    Don Wright/AP/File 2016
    Ravens coach John Harbaugh and quarterback Joe Flacco have big-game experience against the Patriots.

     Adderall is on the list of banned substances in major league baseball, but according to Sports Illustrated’s L. Jon Wertheim, a 2013 report stated that 119 major league players had obtained “therapeutic use exemptions,” allowing for a prescription and absolvement from any tests detecting the banned substance. That’s almost 10 percent of the MLB workforce with a permission slip allowing a banned substance. Hmm.

     Tough loss for the Celtics Friday night in San Antonio, but we continue to be amazed by Kyrie Irving and Brad Stevens. The Celtics had a chance to tie the game in the final five seconds and Stevens set up an inbounds play that resulted in Irving getting a wide-open three at the buzzer. Too bad the shot rimmed out.

     Alex Cora told WEEI he plans to bat Mookie Betts leadoff. Cora also said he was “embarrassed” about his public dustups with an Astros broadcaster and manager A.J. Hinch late last season. That’s the difference between the Cora episode and the David Price-Dennis Eckersley ambush. Price is still walking about thinking he did a good thing, which is something Cora needs to straighten out next spring.

     The death of former Patriots coach Ron Meyer reminds me of my favorite Tim Kurkjian story. Young Tim was a cub reporter for the Dallas Morning News in 1982 when rumors surfaced that Meyer was leaving SMU to come to New England. Kurkjian went to Meyer’s home, knocked on the door, and was stunned to see the coach standing in the doorway. When Kurkjian — who is not a tall man — said he was “from the Morning News,” Meyer asked, “How much do I owe you?’’ and reached into his pocket to pay the paper boy.


     The NBA has changed its All-Star Game format. No more East vs. West. Captains will select the teams in age-old, high school gym fashion. Reminds me of Janis Ian’s “At Seventeen,’’ in which the poet sings, “And those whose names were never called when choosing sides for basketball.’’

     Could Super Bowl LII be a home game for the Minnesota Vikings?

     Sorry to hear of the passing of former Red Sox pitcher Tracy Stallard, who was always a gentleman when asked about surrendering Roger Maris’s 61st homer in 1961. Footnote: Maris’s homer was the only run scored in that game on Oct. 1, 1961. Stallard was a 24-year-old rookie and pitched seven strong innings against the world champs.

     Not good to hear that the Red Sox have taken advance scouts off the road for the 2018 season. The Sox will rely on video instead.

     I don’t care how old he is, the Giants made a good move calling in Ernie Accorsi to help with their next coach hire. Bet Ernie likes Josh McDaniels.

     Pick up a copy of Dr. Jen Welter’s “Play Big,’’ a new book by the first woman to coach in the NFL. Welter, a Boston College grad, served briefly as a linebackers coach with Bruce Arians and the Arizona Cardinals in 2015.

    Dr. Jen Welter, the first woman to coach in the NFL, has written a book about her pro experience.
    Matt York/AP/File
    Dr. Jen Welter, the first woman to coach in the NFL, has written a book about her pro experience.

     Sidney Crosby’s sister, Taylor, was a goalie at Northeastern before transferring to St. Cloud State earlier this year. Atop the “personal” section in her official bio on the St. Cloud State website, it reads, “Daughter of Troy and Trina Crosby of Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia . . . Older brother Sidney also plays hockey . . . ”

     Boston needs the Boston Herald. I’ve been a home delivery subscriber for more than 35 years.

    Quiz answer: Don Chaney.

    Dan Shaughnessy can be reached at